August 30, 2015

Holy Cow! I's Done Wrote CCL Of M!

Celebration time c'mon! It's a celebration!

Oh yeah!

Yeah baby, it's Bossa Nova Time!

Oh to be able to actually dance like that! Who am I foolin'? I can't even dance to anything faster than a slow waltz. Sort of.

Anywho, back to the grindhouse.

While I was trying to figure out what to write for today, it suddenly dawned on me, well, not suddenly, since I was perusing my published post list, that this is post #250 for this here blog and post #1554 for all six Blogger blogs. While I don't do much in the way of blog anniversaries anymore (seriously, after 8 1/2 years of blogging), I figure this should count for something special, since writing that many freakin' posts for a blog that came into being only 2 years ago is quite an accomplishment for me.

I won't bore you with the gruesome details, so if you wants them, click on the link in the preceding paragraph, but suffice to say I am pretty gosh darn proud of what I've been able to do with my blogging. But enough about that, 'cause repetitiveness is not really a good thing to for a blog post, unless your brain has gone to mush.

So now, for something completely different.

Feel free to hate me now, 'cause Father Nature is pimping a nasty winter for 2015, and what better way to get everyone annoyed than to post a pic from a previous winter. Besides, if retail stores can pimp back to school sales two weeks after school ends, Halloween in August as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas, then this blog can go directly to winter w/o stopping at Autumn or saying bub-bye to Summer.

(c) 2015 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

August 27, 2015

To Write Is Right, But Not To Write Is A Left Turn To Nowhere

Last Thursday, I hinted at a fun-filled-action-packed-incredibly-researched post about my latest writing project, specifically this. However, that is not to be what this post is all about. While I was working on my latest this past weekend (currently sits at a very respectable 16,390 words), I got to thinking about that potential post and what I should write. After researching the memory banks, I found to my surprise/disappointment (you'll see in a moment), that I actually wrote a prequel to that particular book link.

A little more research into the memory banks and I found that I wrote this thing sometime between 2007 & 2009. I can't pinpoint the exact date because I was writing so much slushy stories during that time frame that I often didn't know whether I was coming or going. If something petered out, I put to the side and worked on something else (sound familiar?).

Anyways, I went on a search and destroy for this story and after about 15 minutes of tearing my den apart, I found it. All but the first 3 pages. However, another search of the memory banks (sadly, I have a memory that people would die for) brought me to my XP and a dusty old folder called "Novella 7". Opening said folder brought me the first 3 pages that I had written some time in 2014. Or '13, not sure which.

Long story short, I sat down to refamiliarize myself with the story, and within minutes, a boatload of questions/issues immediately cropped up, mostly about how to reconcile this story with what I was working on, so that they would both make absolute sense. I had 9 full chapters written, smartly labeled Plot 1 & Plot 2. Long story made even shorter, I'm pitching the 3 chapters of Plot 2 'cause they are 100% unusable for either that story or my now former project (you can see where this is going, correct?)

That's right, former project.

As much as I really want to continue re-writing that novella (and I'm having quite a bit of fun writing it), I need to stop and go back to the prequel. Call me old fashioned, but I like to read/write things linearly. In my world, writing something 2nd first is just a tad more convoluted than writing that 2nd something second.

Confused? You ain't the only one, my friend. I wrote the prequel and now I have to reconcile that with what I got written for the 2nd. The one smart decision I made with the prequel is chucking Plot 2. Plot 2, while a good read and probably a good dovetail for the 2nd book, I think is more suited as a pre-prequel...........anywho, that is my cross to bear and once I get things properly situated with a few notes and basic outline, I'll let everyone know exactly what it is I'm talking about.

In other writing news, I found this nifty article via a blog called The Passive Voice (everything you can possibly want to know about the publishing industry et. al. I highly recommend this as a very necessary read), about maximizing the distribution of your writing (if you do the indie route). I'm covered pretty good by Smashwords for my e-books and CreateSpace for print, but after reading that article, I'm giving strong consideration to uploading my books to Kindle, mostly to have more exposure and more potential eyes for my writing.

I already checked into the financials for the upload and it would cost me $50 to get MOBI files for my two books and $0 for the covers. So my friends, look for The Inner Sibling & A Taste Of Pain in the Kindle format this coming September/October.

And that, my friends, is all the writing news that we have for the month of August. Tune in next week when we might have a repeat of this post.

(c) 2015 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

August 24, 2015

I Are Healthy?

I rarely blog about my health, simply because I am of the firm belief that using health issues as a crutch and/or free pass to act like a schmuck is seriously f'd up. I know that my readers, like myself, are of the antiquated view that health issues do not define you as a person nor do they run your life. So most of the time, when I mention a particular health issue, it's usually in passing reference to something else. Basically, I have it, it's something that doesn't run my life 24/7, and I deal with it on my own terms as I go about my business.

Most of my regular readers know that I have muscular dystrophy (yay, I's Jerry's Kids!). Specifically, I was given a working diagnosis of C.M.T. back in 2008. For the past 8 years (and a few years prior) it has made living my life an ongoing adventure of non-stop fun and merriment. Lately, it has made me state quite succinctly to everyone within earshot that walking/standing is highly overrated.

How did I come about this? Well, it seems when you turn the magic number of 50 you start to question certain aspects of your health. In regards to my C.M.T., I decided that it was high time to get a more definitive diagnosis of what I got, as opposed to the working diagnosis that I was given those many years ago. So, with slight trepidation, we went in for an EMG test. About an hour later, the doctor utters a phrase that as a patient, no matter what the procedure being undertaken, you never want to hear.

"Well, that was interesting."

Yes, Interesting. Interesting, as in: what you thought was and thus diagnosed as such, is now not and in fact the results are pointing into a completely different direction that you hadn't considered before.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that I had this done, 'cause I'm already an interesting case study. Doctor has never seen what I have where I have it before. But, to be hones, it's a bitch to be unique.

So, in order to narrow it down even further, we had a vampire drain another 5 tubes of blood for a little DNA testing to see what it is exactly I do have. I should mention that unlike four years ago when this $5K test wasn't covered by the insurance, this time, this now $4K test is covered by the insurance. And no co-payment is being charged.

So while wait for the test results, I stagger along through life with leg weakness below the knees, a now even more screwed up gait, and a determination not to let this rue my life (yes, I still force myself to go bike riding on Saturdays to run my morning errands. Roughly 5.8 miles roundtrip).

Yes, life can throw you a knuckle ball/hail mary/bicycle kick/bouncing hockey puck to an empty net, but it's up to you on how you're gonna deal with it. Do you rule it and hit it out of the park/bat it away/finger touch it over the goal/belly flop, or do you let it rule you and become a goat?

(c) 2015 BOOKS BY G.B. MILLER. All Rights Reserved.

August 20, 2015

There Was A Time... which I was going to write for today a sensibly researched post/blast from the past as it applies for a writing update. Went to my old blog and dug out a couple key posts from 2009 & 2012 to use as cannon fodder for that post. Sat down at my computer to write it, and got only slightly sidetracked to do some housecleaning at my old blog by writing a semi-new post highlighting my two main blogs.

Alas, poor Yorrick, I knew him Horatio. By the time Juliet got done banging Romeo, Hamlet and King Lear, there was no one left for her to conquer, except maybe the Merchant from Venice, but ya know, age difference and all. We Tamed the Shrew during the Midsummer Night but it was hotter than a day trip through the many many levels of Italian prose.


What is your major malfunction?

I will not have you quoting gobs of Shakespeare to the washed and squeaky clean masses on this blog. This is a highly respected Joe Lunchbucket type of blog, and there is no room for pseudo intellectual malfeasance.

Excuse you?

You heard me. Now, get it on with it, or I'll pull your creative license and make you live out your worst nightmare.

Nightmare, Gracie?

Speechwriter for The Donald.

That, my useless compadre, is not a nightmare. A four year old wired out on five pounds of sugar can slap together two pages of gibberish and it wouldn't anti-matter. That's strike one.

Spokesman for Hillary Clinton.

You can pull a homeless drunk off the street, clean him up, slap a bottle of Jim Beam in his hands and stick him in front of a microphone. He'll make a hell of lot more sense than Hillary. That's strike two.

I got it! I got it! I got it! Songwriter for Justin Beiber!

Please, that is not a nightmare. That's easy money. I can learn three chords, borrow an electric piano and hammer out ten songs, each one containing lest than 25 words, all on a variation of one single theme. That's strike three. So now you get to suffer your worst nightmare.

What's that?



The preceding post is a sterling example of what happens when the logical side of the brain attempts to muscle in where it doesn't belong, manly the man cave of creativity: he gets taken back to ye olden woodshed for a "meeting of the minds".

My name is G.B. Miller, and I approved this drive-by Bch slapping of my common sense.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

August 17, 2015

Tie Me To The Length Of That Serioulsy Short Leash

I've discovered, during the course of writing my Tumblr blog (note, it sucks up a ton 'o bandwidth, so think long and hard before going there. just sayin') for the past five months or so, that I have two very distinct blogging styles.

Here, I is somewhat long (1/2 to 2 pages in length), while over there, I is painfully short (roughly 3 paragraphs in length). I suppose part of the reason is that it's a recap blog, thus it only needs a few short paragraphs. Sort of like what you see here at the moment. Another part of the reason is that Tumblr is geared more towards pictures/gifs/videos than it is text. Text is almost an afterthought there, whereas here, pics are more of an afterthought than text.

Ya know, I always wasn't this verbose on my Blogger blogs. For those of you who can recall (and that's about all the fingers on one hand), way early on, I used to write short blog posts. I also used to post on a punishing schedule too, but that's another story for not another time. Somewhere along the way, I got away from the short posts and my posts gradually morphed into the type where you will see at least two or three times a month, a jump break inserted into said post.

The only legitimate reasons that I can come up with as to why the excess verbiage are basically this:

1} Real world has bled into my blog world;
2} Chat rooms of yesteryear has also bled into my blog world.

Second point first. As most of you know, I trolled the chat rooms for roughly 4 year. One of the many, many things that bugged me (and there were a lot), was the 1500 character limit for posting. It has always been a problem of mine writing stuff that can smartly sum up a point in under a half page (which is why I stay away from writing short-short fiction), so it seriously chaffed my inner thighs to be under an arbitrary word limit. So when I decided to move to the blog world, out went the word cap.

First point second. As most of you know, I work for the state of Connecticut and have been since 1996. And as anyone who has ever dealt with the guv'ment on any kind of level, you know that any documentation that you receive during your encounter is basically information overload with a three page minimum. This is directly due to the fact that no one, repeat, no one wants to crucified over a minute slipup that an unscrupulous person (public or private sector) would take advantage of.

Because of this very real outcome (personal experience here), I have a tendency to do ginormous info dumps that the average person would only see in a badly written novel in my internal business correspondence. External only requires that you provide short succinct answers to any question posed in an e-mail, and no tangent straying. Ever.

So because of those two points, I have issues when it comes to writing blog posts. Such as this one, which probably meets the low end of my estimated length (to verify, do a print preview of just this post and nothing else). I'm working on it, but it will always be a perpetual uphill battle.

A question for you: Does any of what you do in the real world for non-story writing bleed into what you write for blog posts?

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

August 13, 2015

I Can Conversate, But Will They Listen?

Contrary to the popular opinion of cyberspace, I really am an introvert.


I have issues with being around groups of real people larger than 5, which is why I usually don't go to things like staff parties or certain family get-togethers. I even have issues dealing with some of my children's friends, but that's another story for another time.

Now you think this would be a problem at work, and for the longest time, it was. I have to do orientation at least half dozen times a year, and for the longest time, I had a built in excuse as to why I shouldn't have to go to a room filled with anywhere from one dozen to two dozen people and patiently explain to everyone about everything connected with their paycheck.

Sadly, that built in excuse ended in a seriously spectacular flameout this past January, so now every three months or so, I have to hoist myself up by my own petard and my own jockstrap, go to an AV/conference room filled with fresh meat....I mean, new employees, and play nice.

Play nice.

When you get fifteen questions on how to fill out a federal W-4 and a state W-4 (I'm not joking on this). When you explain to people what a tax exempt letter (IRS is cracking down on this) is and that if you choose to file exempt on your federal taxes you have to return the letter, and no matter how much you dumb down your explanation, you still have comprehensions issues. When you explain how important it is to have an up-to-date mail addy, and it's like "what?", it's wickedly hard to play nice.

Fortunately, what helps me play nice with people who will make twice my annual salary and have degrees up the wazoo, is my sense of humor, my brain dead delivery, and my ability to make everyone feel not-quite-so-stupid.

Because I truly detest speaking in public (yup that broadcasting skool did wonders for my confidence), I had to find a way to connect with people. Fortunately for them, I have a very dry sense of humor and a keen sense of self-inflicted stupidity. Mix in the ability to sound absolutely brain dead (Spicolli) and have a keen sense of understanding ala Bob Ross, and you got a person who you can simply wind up and let loose amongst an unsuspecting group of hostages...ummm, newbies, with no fear that I'll offend anyone (yet).

Beyond having to prostitute myself like a performing monkey (get yur head outta the gutter. it's a clichĂ©), my preferred method of communication is the written word. With the written word, I is king of my domain (sorry, no Seinfeld reference for you). I are witty, I are full of both atrocious and kick-your-ass-with-high-heels grammar, but most importantly of all, is that I am me.

No bells, no whistles, no having to turn it on and turn it off nor censor myself until I'm Walter Mitty's personal whipping boy. What you read is what you get 99% of the time. Warts and all. And though I may possess a seriously surly attitude that borders on a "WTF are you bothering me for?" at work, away from work, this is who I really am.

The question is: can you handle the real me?

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

August 10, 2015

What Did I Learn?

I've had an unbelievably busy Sunday through Sunday (8/2-8/9), culminating in a trip to the land of the quirky to pick up this young lady from the campground:

Age 9 or 10
And along the way, I learned a few interesting things:

When they put their collective mind to it, a long in the tooth classic rock band/artist can still put on a good show.

On 8/2, courtesy of my bro, I went to see a double bill of Cheap Trick & Peter Frampton. As most of you know, I'm not a fan of geezer rock, simply because I remember when that music was actually fresh and not murdered by commercial radio. But, away I went, and even though Cheap Trick put on a good show (highlight: John Lennon's Cold Turkey) and the 3 original band members were in good form, Peter Frampton blew them away. Among the highlights: a ridiculously long and highly enjoyable version of Do You Feel Like We Do?, phenomenal instrumental cover of Soundgarden's Black Hole Sun (which can be found on his Fingerprints album) and an encore featuring While My Guitar Gently Weeps. One factoid: I was in the bottom end of the age bracket of the concertgoers.

A child can actually prove you wrong.

I have written about my son over the years, mostly behind the scenes (aka, not on this blog), and for many of those years, our relationship was pretty much like the one I had with my dad: strained. But, in the past year and a half, he managed to completely change my opinion by doing the one thing that I never thought would be possible: he grew up.

In Spring 2014, he finally saw the light. He had hit rock bottom job-wise and he finally came to the realization that what he was doing was something that he did not want to do for the rest of his life, especially in light of him finally getting his personal relationships straightened up (has a girlfriend of roughly 2 years). So he enrolled in Porter & Chester's Automotive program, which culminated in him completing the program and graduating on 8/6 with a degree in auto mechanics. Prior to graduating, he managed to land a job at a car dealership. Suffice to say, I am very proud of my son for finally doing the right thing.

On the other hand, a child can actually make you look not-so-smart.

I learned from my 14 year old daughter this past week that I really can't do something like a video on the fly. No sir. Doing a video and posting it to YouTube requires planning and the ability to actually edit the damn thing before posting. I also learned that even if you have a YouTube account, if nothing is posting publicly, then you can't be found in their search enging.

Anyhow, I came up with the novel idea of posting a video that makes me look silly this past week, and I asked my daughter to help me film it. She immediately asked if I had any moving-editing programs on my computer. I told her I wasn't sure, but I would take a look. Sure enough, I didn't have, but Microsoft had a program that I could download. Now, I'm very leery of downloading any kind of program, but since daughter says I should get the program, then I probably should.

I also should mention that computer video editing is course that she took in her last two years of middle school and is one of her electives this coming year.

Yah, I are smart.

And that is what I learned this week. How 'bout you? Any meetings with Captain Obvious or at the Epiphany Café?*

*Neither phrase a creation of me. One is from t.v., the other from a comic strip.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

August 5, 2015

IWSG #12: A Year's Worth Of Fun!

Yes indeedie doodie. Well, not doodie, 'cause doodie is gross and disgusting.

Anyways, we dispense with the usual jocularity today, because I don't feel quite so jocular (beware, I may use archaic language, which in my world means language that was used during my high school days 1979-83), but slightly more verbose (beware, I may use improper grammar and/or spelling today, 'cause you know, it's my blog and I'll whine if I want to, whine if I want to. You'll whine too if it happened to you).

Anywho, today is Prince Spaghetti day, no, it's Prince Albert in a can, no, it's HUMP A CAMEL DAY, no, it's faster than a rolling O, stronger than silent E, able to leap a capital T in a single bound, it's a word, it's a plan, it's Letterman! Do do dooooooooo!

Seriously, the 1st Wednesday of every single blessed month on Mother (or Father if you swing that way) Nature's Big Blue Marble, is Insecure Writer's Support Group day. That very special day where we moan, groan, complain (all G rated of course) about our writing, or in my case, a complete lack thereof.

And there lies the rub, or the nub of my gist today: no writing.

As some of you may or may not know, I've been slowly (like tortoise slow) chipping away on my latest project, a complete rewrite of my first self-pubbed book. So far, I have three chapters written totaling 14,639 words. I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but long story seriously short, I write with pen and paper, then transcribe to my old XP. However, the last time I worked on it was July 19th.

The reason why I haven't done a lick of writing in roughly 2 1/2 weeks isn't because of procrastination, although there is a negligible amount being applied because it does time a bit of time when you're complete re-writing a previously published book. You know, how much do you keep, how much you chuck, how to do you break it up, etc., etc. It's because of work related stress/aggravation.

I am going through some serious stress/aggravation at work, which has wrecked untold carnage with my writing. I know it sounds overly dramatic, but up until recently, I've been able to tune out the garbage that is my job so that I can do some writing on the weekends. Now, the stress/aggravation has gotten to be so bad and so heavy that I have been unable to do any kind of writing save for what I produce for my blogs.

I'm kind of bummed about this, simply because writing has been for the most part, the one solid sanctuary for my sanity. We all need a way to recharge and decompress, and for me, writing has bee the one thing that has kept me from biting everyone's collective head off. That sanctuary has eluded me for the past 2 1/2 weeks and until I can get things straighten out at work, writing will be sporadic at best. However, humor will not. Be sporadic. Possibly acidic, but not sporadic.

At that, my friends, is my insecurity for the month. What's yours?

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.

August 2, 2015

Sports Fans Are Stupid

As most of you have probably guessed, I am a huge New England Patriot fan. Like it or not, the Patriots have the best winning pct. of any team of the past ten years. However, I'm not here to talk about that beyond pointing that salient fact out. What I'm here to talk about is the major disconnect that most football fans and the NFL has between reality and fantasy.

For those of you who live across the pond and thus don't really follow American Football, the uproar over the Patriots (specifically Tom Brady) is over the fact that some footballs during a playoff game lost some PSI's. Forget the fact that the Patriots were the better team and the opposing team simply did not bring their "A" game to the field and instead concentrate over the American equivalent of flopping/diving on the pitch.

Now, we all have teams we love to hate, simply because that team is very good at what they do and they don't have a problem in pointing that fact out to everyone. In baseball, there is a love/hate relationship with the New York Yankees; basketball, it's probably the LA Lakers; hockey, probably Chicago or Detroit; football, the Patriots hands down.

Anywho, Tom Brady received a four game suspension for using a slightly deflated football. By and large, most sports fans who are not the Patriots and talk radio/television have been raising cane over the fact that this suspension was TOO LIGHT. That's right, too light. For a deflated football.

For the past several months, people have been going slugnutty over this issue. Now, on the other side of the token, let me bring up another story that will justify my opinion about American sports fans.

Last year, football player Greg Hardy was arrested and charged with DOMESTIC BATTERY. Initially, he recieved a 10 game suspension for DOMESTIC BATTERY. However, he reached an out of court setttlement with the woman he beat the snot out of , the charges were dropped and his suspension was reduced to 4 games.

4 games people. For beating the snot out of a woman who didn't deserve to be treated like that.

In its infinite wisdom, the NFL feels that deflating a football is just as bad, if not worse, as beating the snot out of an innocent woman.

Let's see: a domestic violence incident that originally got the player 10 games, reduced to 4; deflating a football that the NFL is taking a hard intractable line on, 4 games.

Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture? How can people, of all persuasions, call for the head/career of a marquee football player over the fact that he MAY HAVE used an underinflated football to win a playoff game, yet remain stunningly silent over the fact that another marquee player beat the snot out of innocent woman?

Personally, I think the underinflated football is much ado about nothing and in fact, it's nothing more than a witch hunt against the Patriots, because after all, once you have been caught legitimately doing something wrong (Spygate some 12 years ago), it's always good to be considered guilty right off the bat. Because you know the old adage, shoot first, ask questions later (maybe).

I am on hiatus until Tuesday, as I'm going with my wife to see Peter Frampton and Cheap Trick at Foxwoods tonight and I'm planning on not being on the 'net for Monday, so all comments will be answered then.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.